In the Fall 2012 edition of Miami Magazine, Miami Law's Scott Rogers discusses his work in the field of mindfulness and with University of Miami neuroscientist Amishi Jha. The research is exploring the connection between mindfulness practices and developing "mental armor" in stressful situations – from soldiers to law students.
Scott Rogers is director and founder of the Mindfulness in Law Program, author of three books on mindfulness for law students and lawyers, and founder of The Institute of Mindfulness Studies and of the Jurisight program.
From the article "Boot Camp for the Brain" by writer Greg Breining, "Lawyers have many legal responsibilities—to their clients, opposing attorneys, and others," says Rogers, who teaches Professional Responsibility and Mindfulness and Mindfulness in the Law.
"Attorneys can, from time to time, not do what they're supposed to do because they may be afraid, may feel they're going to lose, or may be really, really angry. We know we want to act honorably," he adds. "Yet things happen. Thoughts, feelings, and sensations take us by surprise, and we get caught and become reactive. All of a sudden our intentions seem to fly out the window."
Mindfulness training, explains Rogers, "offers this wonderful opportunity to notice what is arising inside of us so that we gain more mastery over what we do about it." He and Jha have founded the Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative, a multidisciplinary academic community of those interested in mindfulness training at UM.
"Mindfulness training exercises are showing promise as tools to build more attentive, less emotionally reactive brains," said Professor Jha.